Aims: This study investigated annual medical costs using real-world data focusing on acute heart failure. Methods: The data were retrospectively collected from six tertiary hospitals in South Korea. Overall, 330 patients who were hospitalized for acute heart failure between January 2011 and July 2012 were selected. Data were collected on their follow-up medical visits for 1 year, including medical costs incurred toward treatment. Those who died within the observational period or who had no records of follow-up visits were excluded. Annual per patient medical costs were estimated according to the type of medical services, and factors contributing to the costs using Gamma Generalized Linear Models (GLM) with log link were analyzed. Results: On average, total annual medical costs for each patient were USD 6,199 (±9,675), with hospitalization accounting for 95% of the total expenses. Hospitalization cost USD 5,904 (±9,666) per patient. Those who are re-admitted have 88.5% higher medical expenditure than those who have not been re-admitted in 1 year, and patients using intensive care units have 19.6% higher expenditure than those who do not. When the number of hospital days increased by 1 day, medical expenses increased by 6.7%. Limitations: Outpatient drug costs were not included. There is a possibility that medical expenses for AHF may have been under-estimated. Conclusion: It was found that hospitalization resulted in substantial costs for treatment of heart failure in South Korea, especially in patients with an acute heart failure event. Prevention strategies and appropriate management programs that would reduce both frequency of hospitalization and length of stay for patients with the underlying risk of heart failure are needed.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Health Policy